Monday, May 5, 2014

Godzilla (2014)
Opens May 16th, 2014
2 hrs 3 mins
Rated PG-13
Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy


Gareth Edwards

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as US Navy Lieutenant Ford Brody
Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa
Elizabeth Olsen as Elle Brody
Juliette Binoche as Sandra "Sandy" Brody
Sally Hawkins as Dr. Vivienne Graham
David Strathairn as US Navy Admiral William Stenz
Bryan Cranston as Joseph "Joe" Brody

Review by Stephen M.

Godzilla 2014 met my expectations in about 10 minutes of footage.  Unfortunately it took about a hour and a half to get to that 10 minutes.  The story starts off in the past as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) is called to the Phillipines at a mining site due to some interesting findings.   Among what it finds are giant bones of which the Dr. replies to his colleague that, no that's not the one.  They do find two other objects there, one dormant and the other one not so much.

Change of scenes takes us to a Japan nuclear plant where Joseph "Joe" Brody (Bryan Cranston) works with his wife.  The plant has an accident of which only one of the two survives, leaving the other to 15 years later trying to find out what exactly caused the accident at the plant.  The two has a young child Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who now all grown up is a Navy arms disarmament specialist.  Of course that comes in handy later on. 

The movie is heavy on building up to the point of the battle between the monsters (Muto(s)) and Godzilla.  They tease you quite often, getting glimpses from the human point of view usually as the door slams shut or as they're passing by.  During that time you get a story about a father and son learning to connect again and forgive.  As well, a father trying to get back to his wife and son to protect them from what he knows is coming.  

While I liked Bryan Cranston as Joseph "Joe" Brody, I wasn't a big fan of Aaron Taylor-Johnson's performance or even Ken Watanabe's.  The latter's facial expression seems to be stuck in one expression the entire film.  Sure 300 foot tall monsters can do that to a person, but still...  The monsters and the effects were okay but not spectacular.  The best parts I would say include when Godzilla dives under the aircraft carrier and emerges on the other side.  All the while you can see him just below the surface of the ocean.  As well of course the final fight scene in which he shows the Muto(s) why he is king.

Overall, I would recommend the film especially if you're a fan of Godzilla and want to forget the horrible 1998 Matthew Broderick version.  The movie is long on building up the tension and focusing on Ford who seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, every time!  I'm not too big a fan of this, and would like Ken Watanabe's character would say "Let them fight," though much earlier and more frequently.  My rating is based really on the last 10 minutes of fighting.  If I had to rate the movie as a whole, it would be lower.


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